Acts 1:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 1:10, NIV: They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.

Acts 1:10, ESV: And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,

Acts 1:10, KJV: And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

Acts 1:10, NASB: And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, then behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them,

Acts 1:10, NLT: As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them.

Acts 1:10, CSB: While he was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them.

What does Acts 1:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The disciples are standing outside near Bethany, two miles east of Jerusalem, and they are stunned. Forty days ago, their master Jesus rose from a horrific death on a cross. Now, He has just ascended into heaven. They have their orders: go to Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4–5), but for now, they need to take a moment to re-orient their thinking.

The two men who greet them are most likely angels, though the text doesn't say so specifically. That there are two of them goes back to the Mosaic Law. In Deuteronomy 19:15, two witnesses are required for a conviction of the law. When Jesus sent out the disciples to preach, cast out demons, and heal the sick, He did so in twos (Mark 6:7–13). He did so again when He sent out seventy-two of His followers to prepare the towns He planned on visiting (Luke 10:1).

Two angels greeted the women who visited Jesus' tomb on the morning of the resurrection (Luke 24:4), although apparently only one spoke (Matthew 28:2–7; Mark 16:5–7). And when Mary Magdalene told Peter and John that the tomb was empty, they both ran to check (John 20:2–3).

Most of the witnessing in the book of Acts is done by two or more. Paul and Barnabas are together during the first missionary journey (Acts 13—14). On the second, Paul takes Silas and Barnabas takes his cousin John-Mark (Acts 15:39–40). It may be that Athens is the only time Paul ministers alone, as he had to flee Berea without warning (Acts 17:13–34). It's not a bad idea to minister in pairs or small groups. As Solomon said, "And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12).